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Opinion: Healthy Cooking Hacks

Campus-wide opinions about Belk Dining Hall tend to be less than glowing. Of course, everyone will have their opinions, but we can only change what we can control: ourselves. College is hard, especially when you don’t have great choices for food. However, every dorm building and Oaks apartment is equipped with a kitchen, so why not learn how to cook?

The first step of cooking is the grocery list. Creating a complete grocery list starts with answering three questions: What am I going to drink? What am I going to eat for meals? What’s my favorite snack? Answering these questions gives you a pantry to fulfill your every hunger and thirst need.

The biggest thing I have learned while living at Meredith is that every student living on campus should have bottled water or a water filter. Not every room on campus has a sink in their room, and it’s important to stay hydrated!

Breakfast in college should be fast and convenient, especially when you’re running late. Cereal, fruit and oatmeal are my go-to breakfast foods. Not only can I use my unsweetened almond milk for cereal but I can also use it for oatmeal, mac and cheese and as a non-dairy replacement while cooking. Whenever I make food, I use my groceries resourcefully in an effort not to waste anything.

Lunch while in college can go two ways: eating on the go or grabbing something bigger to hold you over until dinner time. Meal prepping helps me to prepare for the week to come. I love taking my bento box with me so I can eat between classes. According to Cookley magazine, bento boxes originate in Japanese culture and create a simple, easy and balanced meal. It’s like creating your own lunchables! One idea for a bento box on a college student budget is rice, chicken and broccoli. However, you can change it as you please. Personally I like to take small portions of my favorite meals from BDH and use them in my lunch the next day.

For dinner, cooking instant ramen can be a bore but doesn’t always have to be. Try adding extra vegetables or meat to the ramen to make it more interesting. Having rice in your room is always the perfect pairing component in any quick meal. You can make chicken and rice, rice with vegetables and my personal favorite, rice and beans.

Belk Dining Hall isn’t the best meal spot for everyone, so next time you need a good meal on a budget, be sure to try one of these options.

By Melissa Taylor, Contributing Writer

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